Should Employers Offer ID Theft Protection As a Voluntary Benefit?

Employers Offer ID Theft Protection
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The employee benefits landscape has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. What started out as major medical in the 1970s has evolved into comprehensive benefits packages offering health plans, retirement plans, and a whole host of voluntary benefits. Speaking of which, should employers consider adding identity theft protection to their voluntary baskets?

At least one general brokerage agency thinks so. Dallas-based BenefitMall is especially bullish on voluntary benefits as tools for recruiting and retaining talent. One of the most attractive aspects of voluntary benefits is that they are virtually unlimited. If a company finds something it wants to offer, like identity theft protection, they can do so.

ID Theft Protection in a Nutshell

Most of us have a basic idea of what ID theft protection is and how it works. There is no need to get into the details here. In a general sense, ID theft protection is a service designed to monitor a predetermined set of metrics in order to determine if bad actors are attempting to steal someone’s identity. Suspicious activity is reported via email, text message, or other channels.

There is nothing especially complicated about ID theft protection from the consumer’s standpoint. When it is set up and maintained properly, there is little for the consumer to do other than pay attention to any email or text alerts that come in. Following up on the alerts keeps risks to a minimum.

From the employer’s standpoint however, ID theft protection is more than just a consumer service. It is an incentive employers can use to convince job candidates to come work for them. It is an incentive for sticking around rather than jumping ship for a new job elsewhere.

As a Voluntary Benefit

Identity theft protection obtained through an employer is considered a voluntary benefit. It is a low cost benefit for the employer in two ways. First, actual subscription rates tend to be reasonable right from the start. Employers can usually get better rates on volume subscriptions.

Second, employers can pass the entire cost of the benefit along to their employees if they wish. They can also split the cost or cover it entirely themselves. Having the flexibility to come up with the most appropriate payment model is yet another strength of the voluntary benefit concept.

Employees Appreciate the Benefit

The proverbial icing on the cake with identity theft protection is that employees appreciate having access to it through their employers. In simple terms, it is a benefit they want. It’s also a benefit they need.

According to data from the National Council on Identity Theft Protection:

  • Americans lose $5.8 billion to ID theft annually
  • Scams resulting directly from ID theft generate $3 billion in annual losses
  • The FTC reported 5.7 million ID theft incidents in 2022
  • Identity theft increased 70% between 2020 and 2022.

The statistics surrounding ID theft are frightening, to say the least. Literally anyone could be victimized by scammers who think nothing of stealing identities and ruining lives. As such, employees are generally willing to contribute to a voluntary ID theft protection benefit through their employers.

Whether you are a business owner, in executive management, or a benefits broker working through BenefitMall, identity theft protection is a voluntary benefit worth looking at. It is something people want and need. It is a benefit that can be added to an existing basket for the purposes of retaining current employees and recruiting new ones.

The fact is that ID theft is a problem. One way to combat it is to offer ID theft protection as a voluntary employee benefit.

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